Company linked to Egyptian Intelligence charging international charity $5,000 a truck to get aid into Gaza
By Kevin Hughes // Feb 07, 2024

A company connected to Egypt's primary intelligence agency is allegedly extorting aid agencies who wish to get aid trucks across the border into Gaza up to $5,000 per truck.

This is according to a source verified by Middle East Eye, who came into contact with an international charity with broad experience in providing emergency aid in the Middle East and Afghanistan during wars, famines and other disasters like earthquakes.

The charity, which requested anonymity to prevent future obstruction of its relief efforts in Gaza, spoke about having to pay what the company describes as a bribe to agents linked to Egypt's General Intelligence Service (GIS).

"We have worked around the world in times of war, earthquakes and other disasters, but we have never been treated like this by a state who is profiteering from the dispatch of humanitarian goods," said a spokesman for the anonymous charity. "It's draining a lot of resources and the bribe being paid is per truck."

The charity claimed that the money is being paid in the form of a "management fee" to a company affiliated with the Sons of Sinai, a construction and contracting firm owned by Egyptian businessman Ibrahim al-Organi and is a subsidiary of his conglomerate, the Organi Group.

Al-Organi is also the head of the Tarabin tribe, whose traditional lands are located in parts of the Sinai desert bordering Israel. Al-Organi also owns a company that is a joint venture with two other companies owned by the GIS.

Palestinians desperate to flee Gaza also forced to pay up to $10,000 in bribes

The Organi Group has previously been accused in media reports of being the ultimate beneficiary of a lucrative scheme to "fast-track" the provision of permits for Palestinians who wish to escape Israel's indiscriminate attacks in Gaza.

Unfortunately, the Organi Group's alleged activities at the Rafah Border Crossing with the Gaza Strip is just part of a broader scheme by a massive network of brokers and couriers based in Cairo, many with their own alleged links to the GIS, preventing Palestinians from being able to leave Gaza unless they pay bribes starting from $4,500 and rising to $10,000 to help them exit the territory.

Not even Egyptian citizens living in Gaza are exempt, being forced to pay between $650 to $1,200 for exit visas. Other foreign passport holders can be forced to pay up to $3,000 to exit.

These schemes were uncovered by multiple investigations, including by The Guardian, independent Egyptian news website Saheeh Masr and by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, a global anti-corruption nonprofit.

"It's very frustrating and saddening," said one Palestinian man residing in the United States who was forced to pay $9,000 to get his wife and children on the list of people permitted to exit Gaza daily. The family was forced to shelter in schools since the Oct. 7 attacks and Israel's indiscriminate retaliation.

On the day the man's family was slated to travel out of Gaza, he was told his children's names were not listed and he would have to pay an extra $3,000. He accused these brokers of "trying to trade in the blood of Gazans." (Related: Israel refusing to allow HUMANITARIAN AID to reach the 2 million civilians trapped in Gaza.)

"They are trying to exploit people who are suffering, who are trying to get out of the hell in Gaza," he added. As of press time, his family has yet to leave the Strip.

Belal, a U.S. citizen from Gaza, was told by brokers that he would need to raise $85,000 to get 11 family members out of Gaza, including five children under three.

"I'm only considering this option because the U.S. government is not responding to me. If I had any hope about my father's case, I wouldn't be," said Belal. He has spent the past few months appealing to the State Department to put his diabetic father on the exit list. "I'm in this situation because the U.S. doesn't want to help its own citizens."

Belal noted that he and other Palestinian Americans are only able to communicate with the State Department by email, and the process can take weeks or, in Belal's case, months. "By contrast, I see other people who pay money to leave, and they're able to exit within a day or two," he said.

Watch the video below about Israeli protesters blocking the entry of food aid trucks via the Kerem Shalom crossing.

This video is from Cynthia's Pursuit of Truth channel on Brighteon.com.

More related articles:

United Nations accuses Israel of BLOCKING humanitarian aid deliveries into Gaza Strip,

EU leaders announce plans to support UN call for HUMANITARIAN PAUSE in Israel-Hamas war to allow distribution of aid to civilians in Gaza.

UNRWA warns of growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza amid continued Israeli bombings.

Sources include:

MiddleEastEye.net

TheGuardian.com

OCCRP.org

Brighteon.com



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